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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Darrick Evensen

Darrick Evensen
Dr Darrick Evensen
Lecturer in Environmental Politics
Room B.2 22 George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LF
+44 (0)131 651 1624
Research Interests
Climate change and energy policy, Environmental Sociology, Environmental Policy, Shale gas, Energy transitions, North America, European Union, United Kingdom, Sense of place, Social representations

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Spring 2019 (during term time, 14 Jan. - 24 May): Tuesdays, 1-3pm (in 22 George Square, Room G.3 - note this is the floor above my office) and Wednesdays, 10am-12noon (in Starbucks on Middle Meadow Walk), or by appointment (just send me an e-mail); Exceptions (I am unavailable on the following dates): 8, 14, 15 May

Academic Background:

Darrick's research and teaching lie in the broad area of environmental politics and governance.  He is particularly focused on energy policy, both at domestic and international/global scales.  Much of his research examines the public as a non-state actor in environmental and energy policy debates.  He investigates public perceptions, preferences, and public actions taken in response to environmental issues and  policy decisions.

Teaching: Darrick has only started at Edinburgh in Autumn 2018, but his initial teaching includes: (1) contributing a unit on Global Environmental Politics to the post-graduate 'Global Environment Key Issues' course, (2) a unit on International Governance and Sustainable Development for the undergraduate 'Sustainable Development 1A' course, and (3) a lecture on the politics of 'fracking' for the undergraduate course 'Politics in a Changing World'.

Research: Darrick has published extensively on public perceptions of and reactions to unconventional fossil fuel development in North America and the UK.   He has also examined public knowlegde and attitudes towards energy transitions.  His colleagues, co-authors, and collaborators span a large range of nations across six continents.  He relies on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, often combining them in his research and teaching.  He feels strongly that the methods chosen for research should be suited to the question asked, not the reverse; he believes this often necessitates a mixed-methods approach.

Funding: Darrick's research has been funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US National Park Service, the US Department of Agriculture, the European Commission (Horizon 2020 and Marie Curie Actions), and the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).  He is currently a co-investigator on a UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant investigating 'the spatial and temporal dynamics of public attitudes and community responses to shale gas' (2018-2021); Darrick is leading a workpackage including longitudinal national surveys and repeated cross-sectional surveys in highly localised areas proximate to (potential) shale gas development.  Data analysis will include time-series, geospatial, and multilevel analysis.

Work with Darrick: If you are interested in studying at the University of Edinburgh with Darrick (i.e., PhD research), please do not hesitate to send Darrick an e-mail with your background and potential connection to Darrick's research interests.

Recent Publications (2016 onwards):

Clarke C, Evensen D. 2019. Political divergence in how people view scientific consensus on unconventional energy development’s risk/benefits increases partisan gaps in issue support. Energy Research and Social Science, 51, 156-167.

Demski C, Thomas G, Becker S, Evensen D, Pidgeon N. 2019. Acceptance of energy transitions and policies: Public conceptualisations of energy as need and basic right in the United Kingdom. Energy Research and Social Science, 48, 33-45.

Evensen D, Demski C, Becker S, Pidgeon N. 2018. The relationship between justice and acceptance of energy transition costs in the UK. Applied Energy, 222, 451-459.

Evensen D, Stedman R. 2018. ‘Fracking’: Promoter and destroyer of ‘the good life’. Journal of Rural Studies, 59, 142-152.

Evensen D, Brown-Steiner B. 2018. Connection to climate change matters relatively little for views on fracking. Climate Policy, 18, 556-567.

Evensen D. 2018. Review of shale gas social science in the United Kingdom, 2013-2018. The Extractive Industries and Society, 5, 691-698.

Evensen D. 2018. Yet more ‘fracking’ social science: An overview of unconventional hydrocarbon development globally. The Extractive Industries and Society, 5, 417-421.

Luke H, Rasch E, Evensen D, Köhne M. 2018. Is ‘activist’ a dirty word? Social and place identity, activism and unconventional gas developments across three continents. The Extractive Industries and Society, 5, 524-534.

Buchanan B, Auerbach D, Knighton J, Evensen D, Fuka D, Easton Z, … & Walter T. 2018. Estimating dominant runoff modes across the conterminous United States. Hydrological Processes. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.13296.

Luke H, Evensen D. 2018. Community representations of unconventional gas development in Australia, Canada and the United States, and their effect on social licence. Chapter in Governing Shale Gas, eds. J Whitton, M Cotton, I Charnley-Parry, K Brasier. London: Routledge, pp. 130-148.

Clarke C, Bugden D, Evensen D Boudet H, Stedman R. In Press. Communicating about climate change, unconventional energy development, and “fracking”. In M. Nisbet et al. (eds.), Oxford Encyclopedia of Climate Change Communication.

Evensen D, Stedman R, O’Hara S, Humphrey M, Andersson-Hudson J. 2017. Variation in beliefs about ‘fracking’ between the UK and US. Environmental Research Letters, 12, 124004.

Evensen D, Stedman R, Brown-Steiner B. 2017. Resilient but not sustainable? Public perceptions of shale gas development via hydraulic fracturing. Ecology & Society, 22(1), 8.

Evensen D, Stedman R. 2017. Beliefs about impacts matter little for views on shale gas development. Energy Policy, 109, 10-21.

Evensen D. 2017. News and views: Renewable energy policy: Enumerating costs reduces support. Nature Energy, 2, 17106.

Evensen D. 2017. ‘If they only knew what I know’: Attitude change from education about ‘fracking’. Environmental Practice, 19(2), 68-79.

Evensen D. 2017. On the complexity of ethical claims related to shale gas policy. Local Environment, 22, 1290-1297.

Demski C, Evensen D, Pidgeon N, Spence A. 2017. Public prioritisation of affordability within the UK energy transition. Energy Policy, 110, 404-409.

Bugden D, Evensen D, Stedman R. 2017. A drill by any other name: Legacies of natural resource extraction and modern ‘hydraulic fracturing’. Energy Research and Social Science, 29, 62-71.

Thomas M, Pidgeon N, Evensen D, Partridge T, Hasell A, Enders C, Harthorn B, Bradshaw M. 2017. Public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas and oil in the United States and Canada. WIREs Climate Change, 8, e450.

Pidgeon N, Thomas M, Partridge T, Evensen D, Harthorn B. 2017. Hydraulic fracturing – A risk for environment, energy security and affordability? In R. Kasperson (ed.), Risk Conundrums: Solving Unsolvable Problems, pp. 177-188. London: Earthscan.

Evensen D. 2016. Ethics and ‘fracking’: A review of (the limited) moral thought on shale gas development. WIREs Water, 3, 575-586.

Evensen D, Stedman R. 2016. Scale matters: Variation in perceptions of shale gas development across national, state, and local levels. Energy Research and Social Science, 20, 14-21.

Evensen D. 2016. US presidential candidates’ views on unconventional gas and oil: Who has it right? Energy Research and Social Science, 20, 128-130.

Evensen D. 2016. Word choice matters: Comment on Stoutenborough et al. 2016, ‘Is “fracking” a new dirty word?’. Energy Research and Social Science, 20, 8-9.

Wetherell D*, Evensen D. 2016. The insurance industry and unconventional gas development: Gaps and recommendations. Energy Policy, 94, 331-335.

Ashmoore O*, Evensen D, Clarke C, Krakower J*, Simon J*. 2016. Regional newspaper coverage of shale gas development across Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania: Similarities, differences, and lessons. Energy Research and Social Science, 11, 119-132.

Stedman R, Evensen D, O’Hara S, Humphrey M. 2016. Comparing the relationship between knowledge and support for hydraulic fracturing between residents of the United States and the United Kingdom. Energy Research and Social Science, 20, 142-148.

Clarke C, Bugden D, Hart P, Stedman R, Jacquet J, Evensen D, Boudet H. 2016. How geographic distance and political ideology interact to influence public perception of unconventional oil/natural gas development. Energy Policy, 97, 301-309.

Blair B, Weible C, Heikkila T, Evensen D. 2016. Comparing human and automated coding of news articles on hydraulic fracturing in New York and Pennsylvania. Society and Natural Resources, 29, 880-884.

Löfstedt R, Way D, Bouder F, Evensen D. 2016. Transparency of medicines data and safety issues—A European/US study of doctors' opinions: What does the evidence show? Journal of Risk Research, 19, 1172-1184.

Way D, Löfstedt R, Bouder F, Evensen D. 2016. Medicines transparency at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the new information age: The perspectives of patients. Journal of Risk Research, 19, 1185-1215.

* An asterisk (*) denotes an undergraduate student I mentored.

Topics interested in supervising

Almost anything innovative, exciting, and (hopefully) controversial in the area of energy social science and energy policy. I am interested in topics related to: energy transitions, social movements, public perceptions, sense of place, social representations, community energy, renewables, unconventional fossil fuels, comparative international policy, devolved governance in the UK, and many other content areas.

If you are interested in being supervised by Darrick Evensen, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Politics; MSc (R) Politics